UNOC Partners with Chinese Explorer to Bid for Ugandan Block - Africa’s premier report on the oil, gas and energy landscape.

UNOC Partners with Chinese Explorer to Bid for Ugandan Block

By Joe Mshoeshoe, in Nairobi

It wasn’t clear, from UNOC’s press release, if any of the blocks in the ongoing licencing round, had been renamed Pelican-Crane block, the object of the UNOC-CNOOC joint application agreement, or whether the proposed application will be outside the process of the ongoing licencing round.

 The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and the Ugandan branch of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) have signed a joint application agreement (JAA) for the Pelican-Crane block, located in Albertine Graben.

“An opportunity to jointly apply for a licence emerged in 2018, and subsequently an MoU was signed by the parties in Beijing”, Proscovia Nabbanja, UNOC’s CEO, says in a release. “The Pelican-Crane block has high potential and is one of the biggest exploration blocks in the Albertine Graben,” UNOC added.

In late 2020, UNOC had applied for one of the four blocks offered in the Second Licensing in line with its “ambitions of eventually attaining the required capacity to become an operator,” Ms. Nabbanja said at the time. The company was one of the four shortlisted applicants, which also included PetroAfrik Energy Resources East Africa Limited, a local company, Total E &P, Activites Petroliniers (France) and DGR Global Limited from Australia.

The shortlisted applicants were to participate in the request for proposal, a biding stage expected to end in June 2021 before licensing in December 2021. Licensing is preceded by negotiation of production sharing agreements.

The blocks on offer were: Block01 (Avivi); Block02 (Omuka); Block03 (Kasuruban); Block04 (Turaco);

Block05 (Ngaji).

It wasn’t clear, from UNOC’s press release, if any of the blocks in the ongoing licencing round, had been renamed Pelican-Crane block, the object of the UNOC-CNOOC joint application agreement, or whether the proposed application will be outside the process of the ongoing licencing round.

UNOC simply says that “the JAA will be submitted to Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in a process that UNOC expects to culminate in an exploration licence for the block”.

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